6.2/10
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78 user 30 critic

The Broadway Melody (1929)

A pair of sisters from the vaudeville circuit try to make it big time on Broadway, but matters of the heart complicate the attempt.

Director:

Harry Beaumont

Writers:

Edmund Goulding (story), Sarah Y. Mason (continuity) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles King ... Eddie Kearns
Anita Page ... Queenie Mahoney
Bessie Love ... Hank Mahoney
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Storyline

Harriet and Queenie Mahoney, a vaudeville act, come to Broadway, where their friend Eddie Kerns needs them for his number in one of Francis Zanfield's shows. Eddie was in love with Harriet, but when he meets Queenie, he falls in love to her, but she is courted by Jock Warriner, a member of the New Yorker high society. It takes a while till Queenie recognizes, that she is for Jock nothing more than a toy, and it also takes a while till Harriet recognizes, that Eddie is in love with Queenie. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ALL TALKING ALL SINGING ALL DANCING See more »

Genres:

Drama | Musical | Romance

Certificate:

18 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 May 1929 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Broadway Melody See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$379,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,808,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,558,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)| Silent

Color:

Black and White | Color (2-Strip Technicolor) (one sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

MGM production chief Irving Thalberg's decision to make the first all-talking picture a musical was based on his shrewd observation that audiences of Warner Bros.' two successful part-talkies, The Jazz Singer (1927) and The Singing Fool (1928) had responded most enthusiastically to the musical numbers. See more »

Goofs

The guitar player in the song "Broadway Melody" can not be heard playing until he tilts his guitar slightly (possibly towards the mic). See more »

Quotes

Hank Mahoney: I'm going to give her the swellest party she's ever had! Oh, Eddie, I love her so much!
Eddie Kearns: You sure are regular, Hank.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The "Wedding of the Painted Doll" musical sequence was originally presented in Technicolor. All color prints of this sequence are lost, so later reissues and DVD release present the sequence in black and white. See more »

Connections

Followed by Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Boat
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Sung by James Burrows and chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Still Works All Right As Light Entertainment, But That's All
29 May 2002 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

This old musical still works all right as light entertainment, although it's certainly not nearly as spectacular as it apparently seemed to be in its own time. It has likable characters and a story with just enough to keep your attention, which make up for the often creaky pace, bad dialogue, and routine acting. It's also worth watching for Bessie Love, who gives a good performance as an endearing older sister character, which in most places still holds up pretty well.

Because sound movies were still a novelty, it's loaded with singing and dancing numbers that probably seemed impressive to its original audiences. Some of them are still entertaining, while others really just slow things down. For the most part, the script is bad and the acting (aside from Love) is pretty routine, both of which stand out much more now. For example, there is a stretch in the middle of the movie where the characters have essentially the same conversation several times in a row. You still like the characters, but only Love makes hers fully lifelike and sympathetic, at least whenever the weak script gives her any chance to do so. The overall effectiveness of the movie has faded, just as most of today's flashy but empty movies will look dull in 75 years. But at least "Broadway Melody" will probably hold up a little better over time, because it has an innocent energy that most such films today lack.

So, while it is only going to be of interest to those of us who already enjoy older movies, "Broadway Melody" is still decent light entertainment that is mostly pleasant to watch. There are many better films from the era, but if you like old movies and you're looking for something to do for an hour and a half, you could do a lot worse, too.


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